What is Baptism?
A Prayer Book for Australia states, “Baptism with water signifies the cleansing from sin that Jesus’ death makes possible, and the new life that God gives us through the Holy Spirit.” “In baptism we are joined to Christ, and made members of his body, the Church universal.” So, what does this mean? The meaning of this is explained in the Baptism Booklet and will be discussed during a meeting with the Priest.
How do I arrange a Baptism?
A Baptism Application Form may be downloaded as a PDF here, completed and emailed or posted to the Parish Priest.
Alternatively, you may wish to simply telephone the Priest to make enquiries.
The Priest will come to your house to go through the Baptism arrangements and the Baptism Service, so that you know exactly what promises you are being expected to make and to talk through any issues surrounding these. If the godparents live locally, they should also be invited to attend.
It is very important who you ask to be godparents for your child. It is also important to be clear what a godparent should do.
The responsibilities of a godparent are spiritual responsibilities – they should:
† pray regularly for their godchild,
† set their godchild an example of Christ-like living,
† help their godchild to come to know God and to respond to him,
† encourage their godchild to follow the ways of Jesus, and
† help their godchild to look forward to their confirmation.
It is thus very important to choose a godparent who:
✓ is a baptised Christian (this is also a requirement of the Anglican Church);
✓ is able to undertake these responsibilities as a believing Christian,
✓ is willing to undertake these duties conscientiously; and
✓ has regular contact with their godchild to have the maximum beneficial effect.
The number and gender of godparents is a matter of choice of individual families. It is preferred that at least one parent or godparent be a communicant member of the Anglican Church.
What you do in the Baptism Service?
In the Baptism service you promise to bring up your child by your example of trust and commitment to God as your and their heavenly Father. You promise to: bring them to know God in their own experience, to communicate with him, to follow the example of Jesus in gratitude for what he has already done for you and what he promises in the future;
encourage them to be confirmed when they are old enough; and pray for them.
Parents and Godparent are required to make some solemn promises. These will be discussed in detail with you during a visit with the Priest.
Baptism or Blessing?
A Christian is a person who has a relationship with Jesus Christ within his family. If you do not yet see yourself as part of his family but you would like to do something significant for your child, you may ask the Parish Priest if you can have a blessing instead of a Baptism.
Blessing is simply a way of thanking God for the wonderful event of birth and the joy of a new life, which is bound to you in a very special way, and asking for God’s blessing on your child. There is no further commitment.
To arrange a Blessing is very simple: book a date with the Parish Priest on which to hold the Service of Thanksgiving for a Child and allow a member of Clergy to come round once in order to go through the service with you.
If you have any further questions regarding Baptism please feel free to contact us.